Marko Arnautovic to China: forward’s brother says Austrian ‘greatly desires’ CSL switch as West Ham dig in
- Player’s brother says he wants to move to China to win trophies
- Forward still has three years to run on his contract in London
An tug-of-war is brewing as West Ham insisted on Thursday they would not allow Marko Arnautovic to leave this January after the forward’s brother and agent declared the 29-year-old “greatly desired” a switch to China.
The London club took to Twitter to offer a pointed response to Danijel Arnautovic’s claims that West Ham “bought the player for peanuts” and that they should allow the player to leave the club as he wishes.
“Marko Arnautovic has a contract and we fully expect him to honour it. He is not for sale,” wrote the club.
In response to the statement from the brother and agent of Marko Arnautovic this afternoon, the Club has issued the following: pic.twitter.com/6A2p3glFhg
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 10, 2019
He is under contract at the Hammers until 2022.
Arnautovic’s agent told UK radio station Talksport that West Ham had been offered nearly double what they paid for him.
“They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club; best player, signing of the season and the players’ award.
“Now West Ham have a fantastic offer ... He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles ... It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”
Speaking ahead of West Ham’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday, manager Manuel Pellegrini dismissed talk of Arnautovic leaving in the January transfer window.
“I will not talk about the price, I will not talk about rumours,” the manager told a news conference.
“Marko and the other players involved in the rumours have their heads here, they want to continue the way they’re playing.
“I want to keep him but you never know what will happen in the future.”
The Austrian international has enjoyed a strong opening half of the Premier League season grabbing eight goals in 17 games in all competitions.
Manchester United are also monitoring Arnautovic’s progress.
Additional reporting by Reuters